FORT MYERS, Florida – Cypress Lake Golf Club has installed and dedicated a “Pop Art” painting of Hall of Fame golfer Patty Berg, a worldwide ambassador for golf and a longtime club member. Mixed media artist Christopher “CR” Obetz created a one-of-a-kind, three-dimensional “Pop Art” assemblage celebrating Berg’s achievements on and off the golf course. Patty Berg – Anchored is based on rediscovered artwork from Anthony Ravielli, an acclaimed illustrator and artist best known for brilliant depictions of athletes in motion.
Before her death in 2006, Berg permanently loaned a vast collection of golf memorabilia to Cypress Lake Golf Club, which is home to the world’s largest collection of Berg’s artifacts. The new artwork was dedicated Feb. 8 and installed in the clubhouse’s Patty Berg Lobby, directly across from wall-to-wall display cases housing trophies, medals, plaques, photos and other historic relics.
“She was grounded in her stance the way I metaphor being grounded in life,” Obetz said. “Patty was grounded in life and she shared those values with everyone.”
Berg, a longtime Fort Myers resident, was credited for opening doors for female golfers across the world. She was the first U.S. Women’s Open champion and first president of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), and still is the youngest player, male or female, to win all four majors. During her illustrious professional career, Berg won 60 championships on the LPGA Tour and her 15 major titles are the most among all female golfers and is the same amount of major titles Tiger Woods has won.
Ed Rodgers, general manager of Cypress Lake Golf Club, had an opportunity as a young assistant golf pro to join Berg for a round of golf. Later in life, Rodgers began researching Berg’s history and was struck by her profound impact on golf, sports and society as a whole.
“She brought an entire gender to the game of golf,” Rodgers said. “She made golf popular for women. She had a sponsorship with Wilson Sporting Goods, which was unheard of at the time for a woman to be featured as a spokesperson for a major sporting goods company.”
Rodgers also noted that Berg gave over 4,000 golf lessons and clinics during her lifetime, passing her love for the game to three generations of golfers.
“She was a giver to the game,” added Obetz, owner of CR Fine Art Studio and creator of the Pop Art Golf: Legends and Legacy series. “She was a great woman, a great golfer, a great teacher and instructor.”
The painting itself is a mixed media work on canvas with an original frame inspired by the wood pilings and metaphorical planks of a private footbridge that once connected Berg’s home to Cypress Lake Golf Club, where she was a founding member when the club opened in 1959. The pilings remain near the fifth tee as a reminder of the course’s deep history and connection to Berg, while the assemblage serves as a “bridge” between the past and the future of golf.
Cypress Lake Golf Club is Fort Myers’ oldest and most historic private golf club. The club annually hosts the Patty Berg Memorial Golf Tournament, which raises money for youth golf programs.
To honor Berg’s impact on Southwest Florida and the game of golf, Obetz is offering limited-edition, 22”-by-30″ prints of Patty Berg – Anchored for $450, with 100% of proceeds benefiting the Southwest Florida Junior Golf Association and Patty Berg Scholarship Fund. Prints are available through CR Fine Art Studio (PopArtCR.com; 239-470-7084) and Cypress Lake Golf Club (CypressLakeGC.com; 239-481-1333).
Located at 6767 Winkler Rd. in Fort Myers, Cypress Lake Golf Club is Fort Myers’ oldest and most historic private golf club, boasting three PGA hall-of-fame golfers (Patty Berg, Gene Sarazen and Herb Graffis) as founding members. Founded in 1959, the award-winning Cypress Lake Golf Club is one of the few golf courses in Southwest Florida where walking is encouraged all year long, a feature that perfectly complements the unparalleled beauty of the course. Members enjoy access to golf and tennis, a fully stocked golf pro shop as well as social and dining experiences at the clubhouse.